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March Madness Predictions: SDSU vs. Syracuse

  • March 18, 2021
  • by admin

The San Diego State Aztecs (23-4) will play the Syracuse Orange (16-9) in the First Round of the Midwest Region in the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Friday.

The Aztecs are the sixth seed in the Midwest Region but posted an impressive record during the season, winning 14 games in a row and topping the Utah State Aggies in the Mountain West Championship Game. Perhaps what’s even more impressive is the fact that 12 of San Diego State’s wins over that stretch of 14 straight victories came by at least 10 points, signaling the fact that they were dominant on both ends of the court. The Aztecs have three players in which they base their chances of kicking off the NCAA Tournament with a win in their leading scorer Matt Mitchell (15.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.5 steals per game), their top playmaking threat Trey Puliam (team-high 3.4 assists per game) and their defensive specialist Nathan Mensah (pacing the team with 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest). If their three-headed monster is in full sync, then the Aztecs should have strong chances to come away with the win here against a tough ACC opponent. The fact that they’re also riding a 14-game winning streak should also boost their confidence in regards to what they’ve been doing in the past weeks.

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The Orangemen are just 3-2 in their last five games are recently suffered a tight exit in the ACC Tournament, losing 72-69 to the Virginia Cavaliers — another team that made the NCAA Tournament. Syracuse dealt with quite a few inconsistencies all season long, but they went 6-3 over their last nine contests and recorded two three-game winning streaks during that span. It’s clear that Syracuse’s strength lies in what they can do offensively, as they’re a Top 100 team in both points (75.8 — 83rd) and assists (15.3 — 62nd) per game. Within that offensive scheme, one name that undoubtedly stands out is the one of Buddy Boeheim, as the sharpshooting guard ended the NCAA Tournament on a blistering note with back-to-back 20-point games against NC State (27 points) and Virginia (31 points). Boeheim is averaging 17.1 points per game this season and should be a name to watch for the Orangemen in this one, just like Quincy Guerrier (8.8 rebounds per contest). Even though many believe Syracuse are headed for a first-round exit, this team wants to show they have enough to compete against almost any team in the country.

The Aztecs are the better team on both ends of the court, though, and that should be noticeable here. Syracuse will have all sorts of problems to slow down San Diego State offensively, and SDSU should move to the next round as a result.

Check out other predictions from our friends at BetQL:

Ohio v Virginia
UCSB v Creighton

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